October 22, 2004
AUBURN, Ala. -- The No. 17-ranked Auburn soccer team took control of its own destiny in the race for the Southeastern Conference crown with its 2-1 upset of No. 8-ranked Tennessee in front of 2,117 at the Auburn Soccer Complex Friday.
The Tigers (13-2-1, 8-0-1 SEC), who clinched their fourth consecutive SEC Western Division title on Sunday, used goals from seniors Sarah Steinmann and Jenn Walters en route to handing the Lady Vols (11-3-2, 8-1-0 SEC) its first conference loss of the season in front of the second largest crowd in Auburn history.
“What an awesome, awesome crowd,” Hoppa said. “We hope we can see it again in a week when we host Alabama. We are at the point in our program where we can play anyone in the country and feel like we can go out and attack. We dominated a lot the first half and part of the second half with that attack.”
Steinmann put the Tigers on the board and ahead 1-0 in the 21st minute. The Lilburn, Ga., native received an assist from Ronda Brooks and fired a shot just past the outstretched hands of UT goalkeeper Vanessa Phillips-Bosshart for her sixth goal of the 2004 campaign. It was Steinmann’s fourth shot of the first half, barely missing the goal on each of her first three attempts.
“I saw an opening and I just got off a shot,” Steinmann said. “When you see openings like that, you have to take them. This is a big win and it puts us in a good position in the league. We know though that we have to focus because we have two big games remaining.”
Auburn senior Chrissy Culver was taken down just inside the box to set up Auburn’s second goal of the night. Walters scored the penalty kick just over three minutes into the second half, putting the Tigers ahead 2-0 at the 48:14 mark, Walters’ fourth goal of the season.
“We came out strong today,” Culver said. “Steiny (Sarah Steinmann) was on fire. You could just tell she was going to get one. This senior class is really special and we are happy with the West championship, but we have plans for bigger things.”
UT’s lone goal came from Kala Lockaby, who received a pass from Emily Redberg. Lockaby pushed the ball just past AU goalkeeper Megan Rivera from three yards out in the 83rd minute to pull the Lady Vols within a goal at 2-1.
Although Auburn controlled much of the game, Tennessee outshot Auburn 10-9 and fired six corner kicks to AU’s two. Phillips-Bosshart secured three saves on the night and AU goalkeeper Megan Rivera had two.
The win was the second victory over a top-10 ranked opponent this season as well as Auburn’s school history. This was also the first defeat of the Lady Vols since 2001 when the Tigers won by the same 2-1 margin.
Auburn will continue its quest for the SEC Championship on Sunday when it travels to Athens, Ga., to take on the Georgia Bulldogs. The match, which will be televised live by FoxSportsNet South and broadcast on WTGZ 910 AM and www.auburntigers.com, will begin at 12 p.m. CT.